Since 2012, every D-SIP cohort has participated in the Nonprofit 9-0: a 90-hour consulting project with a local nonprofit. Interns suggest solutions to a fundraising challenge identified by the organization. So far, three nonprofits have participated in the Nonprofit 9-0 consulting project. Read on to learn more about them and see who this year’s partner will be!
Year One: HARC (HIV/AIDS Resource Center)
HARC’s mission is to provide HIV-related services to the community through compassionate direct care, prevention, and outreach activities. During the initial year of the Nonprofit 9-0, the 2012 interns were tasked with helping HARC raise more money from their annual fundraising walk. Groups of Nonprofit 9-0 interns developed walker-recruitment plans for use by large community employers (such as hospitals), high schools, smaller businesses, and more. The goal of this outreach was to have these community partners form walking teams. Interns also created four marketing appeals to recruit these groups. After hearing all of the intern presentations, HARC had multiple walker-recruitment plans and marketing pieces. The work was so strong that HARC applied for, and was granted, a Dobson intern in 2013. The Dobson intern’s assignment? To implement many of the suggestions made by the 2012 interns.
Year Two: The Fair Food Network (FFN)
In the second summer of the Nonprofit 9-0 challenge, the 2013 interns worked with FFN, which was relying primarily on grants as its funding source. The interns provided suggestions on how FFN could enhance its visibility in the community in order to increase funding from individual donors. To accomplish this, interns first made recommendations around selecting a celebrity or spokesperson to champion the FFN cause as well as built a strategy around how to leverage that celebrity, based on FFN’s four focus areas: improving healthy food access, informing public policy, enhancing funding strategies, and sharing information. For the second component of the challenge, interns analyzed how FFN could strengthen local ties in the Washtenaw County community to build a donor pipeline through more strategic communications. To mark the end of this very exciting project and to celebrate the presentation of several creative ideas, the winning intern team had lunch and visited the Eastern Market in Detroit—one of the main locations for FFN’s work.
Year Three: The Ypsilanti District Library (YDL)
Last summer, the 2014 cohort was asked to assist with strategy around the library launching its first-ever patron-focused fundraising campaign. The YDL’s campaign goal was to get 2,000 donations. Each intern group identified three to five channels or tools the library could harness to get the word out about the campaign and suggested ways these channels and tools could be leveraged to inspire patrons to contribute to the campaign. Lastly, interns created sample materials that the library could use to promote the campaign, including social media and print pieces. Year three was also D-SIP’s first year of partnering with Richner & Richner, a local nonprofit consulting firm to offer a “Consulting 101” course to the interns.
So, who will be the 2015 Nonprofit 9-0 Challenge partner?
Drum roll, please…
[We hope you’re actually doing a drum roll!]
Year Four: The Ark!
In order to provide the best experience for its students, the University of Michigan is often enhancing its campus. Below are some of the major recent changes.
With its students in mind, the School of Nursing broke ground on April 5, 2013. This date marked the start of a renovation project that will provide more instructional space—specifically, active learning classrooms and a clinical learning center—for the school.
Stop 2: Munger Graduate Residence Hall
What do an M.B.A. candidate, law student, and master’s candidate in social work have in common? Most likely, the ability to solve complex challenges, especially if they work together. In April of 2013, Charles T. Munger made a gift to create a graduate residence hall so that a diverse group of graduate and professional students could live together and interact creating a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration.
Stop 3: South Quad
U-M has renovated multiple residence halls in recent years, and South Quad was the latest of them. Perhaps the facade only looks a little different from this picture, but the dining hall was completely redesigned and now features micro-restaurants offering food made to order.
Stop 4: UM-Dearborn Student Housing
Another campus change occurred on the Dearborn campus. UM-Dearborn students can now choose to live in student housing! Called the Union at Dearborn, the facility is located conveniently across Evergreen Road, providing an urban campus community for Dearborn students.
You might be surprised to see the Ross School on this list since it was just constructed, but that was just Phase one. Phase two will continue to expand and enhance the school’s academic space, allowing it to grow. The school also just added a program, allowing undergraduates to minor in business.
Stop 6: Phyllis Ocker Field Hockey Field
With a talented field hockey team comes the desire to host major events like the NCAA and Big Ten tournaments, as well as the desire to maintain a beautiful playing field. Ocker Field just underwent a major renovation, improving its ability to host major events and creating a new field for the varsity team. The team started the fall 2014 season in its brand new home. These facility upgrades are another example of what donors make possible at the University of Michigan.
Stop 7: Earl V. Moore Building
The renovation and expansion of the Earl V. Moore building, made possible by William K. and Delores S. Brehm, will greatly benefit programs in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance by providing updated classrooms, more performance space, and a new lecture hall. Construction on the site is set to conclude in fall 2015.
Work Placement: Office of University Development (OUD), Prospect Management & Research
What is your current role in Australia and what are some of your primary work responsibilities?
Development Manager, University Engagement Branch, University of Adelaide
I am building a proactive major gifts program from the ground up by engaging alumni and other prominent community members in the transformational impact of philanthropy. The University of Adelaide is already a world-class institution; it is my job to achieve buy-in from stakeholders (most of whom do not realize what their gifts are capable of achieving) and secure six- and seven-figure gifts. Not only is Australia (and Adelaide, especially) an incredible place to live, but I love the opportunity to create something new and sustainable for the future of Adelaide, South Australia, and this wonderful country.
What takeaway(s) from D-SIP do you most apply in your current position?
It’s hard to pick, but I guess the most important thing I realized was that fundraising is a profession to be proud of. We can have an exponential effect on the world by giving those with the means the opportunity to make a difference. Whatever you do, make sure your work is facilitating great work by others.
What do you miss most about your Michigan experience or life in Ann Arbor?
I often miss the sheer diversity in such an unassuming place. Cocktails at The Last Word, right by the Fleetwood Diner; a concert at Top of the Park and then one at the Blind Pig. People from all over the world coming together in this small Michigan city, breathing life into the coldest winter days and celebrating the summertime like nowhere else I’ve ever been. Blue skies and warm weather are lovely, but I would take an overcast, frigid day if I could spend it back in A2.
Zachary Risk, D-SIP ’07
Work Placement: UM-Flint
What is your current role and what are some of your primary work responsibilities?
My title is assistant attorney general (AAG). As an AAG in the Unemployment Section of the Labor Division, I handle cases where the Unemployment Insurance Agency is an interested party. Specifically, I am the attorney of record in the following types of matters, all of which involve claimants, employers, and/or third parties: general civil litigation, administrative hearings, and bankruptcy proceedings.
What takeaway(s) from D-SIP do you most apply in your current position?
As it was my first professional job experience, there are three takeaways my D-SIP experience provided and I continue to use in my current position. First, D-SIP taught me how to work with and protect confidential or sensitive information on a day-to-day basis. Second, D-SIP allowed me to truly appreciate the importance of teamwork in the employment setting. Specifically, it is essential to know how your role fits within a larger project and that everyone’s contribution matters. Finally, D-SIP demonstrated the value of focusing on something larger than yourself. For example, my office is entrusted with protecting the Unemployment Trust Fund, and I believe this role is a responsibility similar to that of working with U-M donors.
What do you miss most about your Michigan experience or life in Ann Arbor?
Nothing in my life do I consistently feel as nostalgic for as I do being a U-M student in Ann Arbor. From the moment my freshman year began, I felt an immense sense of pride in the opportunity I was given. It was always a great feeling to walk around campus knowing that I was, evidently, one of the “leaders and best.” Also, D-SIP instilled in me a sense of responsibility to my community and made me feel connected to the university. While I still feel this way on occasion outside of the U-M campus and Ann Arbor area, no experience can replicate the feeling of being a U-M student and D-SIP intern.
Giving Blueday, the University of Michigan’s first university-wide day of giving, was a monumental day for D-SIP. The day began with the incredibly exciting news that Associate Vice President for Development Dondi Cupp and his partner, David Roberts, were making a $100,000 bequest to the program! By midnight, an additional $1,815 was given to D-SIP. The entire D-SIP staff was thrilled with the magnitude of the support provided by Dondi, David, program alumni, and several other new and longtime supporters.
Another highlight from Giving Blueday was student involvement on campus. More than 1,500 U-M students made personal gifts of financial support to the areas at Michigan that they are most passionate about. On this ONE day, U-M students donated $77,463.02! Much of this success is a result of the 80 student organizations that raised funds for their causes on this day.
And, it should come as no surprise that many of these student organizations’ efforts were led by D-SIP alumni. Kim Cui, D-SIP ’13, helped lead the efforts for Alternative Spring Break (ASB), while Avery Gleason, D-SIP ’14, applied some D-SIP learnings to help raise money for Appreciate + Reciprocate (A+R). Below is a short Q&A with these alumni.
What was most exciting about Giving Blueday for you as a current student?
Kim: The matching funds for current students were definitely one of the most exciting parts. It made students’ personal contributions go that much further toward the organizations and issues they’re passionate about.
Avery: The most exciting part of Giving Blueday was seeing all the buzz around campus. It seemed like every couple of seconds a student would be Tweeting, Snapchatting or Instagramming about Giving Blueday. Feeling that collective student pride around philanthropy and giving was so inspiring and so cool to be a part of.
What D-SIP takeaway did you most utilize in your Giving Blueday planning or overall effort?
Kim: In D-SIP we talked a lot about the collective impact of donations (e.g., “every gift counts”). As an organization, ASB really tried to emphasize that idea when reaching out to current students and alumni.
Avery: D-SIP helped EVERY aspect of A+R’s Giving Blueday strategy, but the biggest impact D-SIP had on our plans was our stewardship component. D-SIP really showed me the importance of stewardship and how effective stewardship can build lifelong support. It’s way more than just saying thank you. It’s showing your donors that they are vital to the organization. So when we sat down to develop our plans, we placed a very large emphasis on stewardship so we can continue to grow our relationships with our donors.
In what ways did you alter your organization’s fundraising strategy because of this day?
Kim: Each ASB trip we send is required to raise a specific amount of money, and the matching funds have been extremely helpful in meeting those goals. It gives the teams more time to focus on other issues, like learning about different social issues and preparing for the trips themselves.
Avery: Giving Blueday was such a great day because it taught Appreciate + Reciprocate—and all student organizations, for that matter—that fundraising is all about personal connections, and not just events. All of these amazing student orgs were able to raise over $157,000 because we tapped into our networks, got students passionate about our missions, and—most importantly—made an ask!
Now, Shelley Strickland, the creator of D-SIP’s educational curriculum and the teacher of the Friday morning classes, is also transitioning into a new role. Luckily for D-SIP, she will still oversee the program’s educational component and ensure the latest philanthropic research informs the classroom experience.
When she is not thinking about D-SIP, Shelley will be busy as the new vice president for development and donor relations for the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. She will lead a team of four and work closely with the president and CEO to market the foundation’s services to individuals and families, corporations, private foundations, and professional advisors.
With the completion of its eighth year, D-SIP now has 190 alumni. As alumni move on to their post-D-SIP adventures, they continue to distinguish themselves as the leaders and best. Some apply their fundraising leadership directly to the development field, while others share it with their community. To recognize their contributions, D-SIP offers two awards at each Closing Ceremony.
The first award, the Chrissi Rawak Award of Distinction in Development, is for an alum doing exceptional work in the fundraising profession. The award is named after Chrissi Rawak, who recognized the importance of training the world’s future fundraisers and was a visionary behind the creation of D-SIP. This year’s award was given to Yoon Choi (D-SIP ’09) for the passion she shows for her development work, her commitment to the fundraising profession, and her willingness to mentor and support fellow alumni. Yoon previously worked in U-M development at the School of Nursing, the Department of Neurology, and the School of Social Work. These days, she is the director of annual giving for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
You will definitely want to watch Yoon’s acceptance video here.
The Block M of Honor for Community Impact recognizes D-SIP alumni who have made philanthropic contributions to their community. This year, four D-SIP alumni spanning four different years of the program received the award. Katelyn Videto (D-SIP ’09), Joseph Sutkowi (D-SIP ’10), Emily Goyert (D-SIP ’11), and Laura Tomassi (D-SIP ’12) were recognized for their work together to establish a chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) for Washtenaw County. YNPN is a national organization that works to provide emerging nonprofit leaders with a forum to have fun, network, share experiences, and continue to develop professional skills. Having a YNPN chapter is not only a huge asset for the Washtenaw County community, but also an excellent way for recent D-SIP graduates to grow. Learn more about the Washtenaw Chapter here.
Congratulations to Yoon, Katelyn, Joseph, Emily, and Laura!